A day after Donald Trump, against all odds, was elected president of the United States, Hillary Clinton told supporters: "We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead."
Standing before a crowd of crestfallen campaign aides and backers on Wednesday in New York, Clinton said, "This is painful and it will be for a long time." The nation proved to be "more divided than we thought" said the Democratic candidate who was poised to become the first woman to be elected president.
"This loss hurts. But please never stop believing that fighting for whats right is worth it." Hillary— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 9, 2016
Trump's triumph, declared after midnight, will end eight years of Democratic control of the White House. Clinton conceded defeat in a telephone call to Trump.
Summoning her most magnanimous tone after a bitter race, Clinton said of the man whose victory she declared would be a danger to America and the world: "I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans."
As her supporters waited for her in a Manhattan ballroom, the scene of despair played out for all on live television. Cameras zoomed in on the exhausted and miserable faces of several of her closest aides, some dressed in hoodies or other casual clothing. The familiar campaign music of Bruce Springsteen in the background added to the sense of disappointment.hoodies or other casual clothing. The familiar campaign music of Bruce Springsteen in the background added to the sense of disappointment.
"We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought," Clinton said in a speech she never hoped to deliver. "But I still believe in America and I always will."
Global stock markets and U.S. stock futures plunged early Wednesday, but later recovered. The Dow Jones industrial average was up more than 1 percent in late-day trading in New York.
President Barack Obama congratulated Trump in a phone call and invited him to a meeting at the White House Thursday.
In the Rose Garden Wednesday, Obama said he had significant differences with Trump, as he had with George W Bush upon taking office eight years ago. But he promised a smooth transition.
"Everybody is sad when their side loses an election," said Obama, who risks seeing much of his legacy reversed in a Trump administration. "The day after, we have to remember we're actually all on one team."
A New York real estate developer who lives in a sparkling Manhattan high-rise, Trump forged a connection with white, working class Americans who feel left behind in a changing economy and diversifying country.
He cast immigration, both from Latin America and the Middle East, as the root of problems plaguing many Americans and tapped into fears of terrorism emanating at home and abroad.
He'll govern with a Republican-controlled Congress and lead a country deeply divided by his rancorous campaign against Clinton. He faces fractures within his own party, too, given the numerous Republicans who wouldn't back him or only tepidly supported his nomination.
Senate control means Trump will have leeway in appointing Supreme Court justices, potentially shifting the bench to the right for decades.
He has pledged to introduce sweeping changes to US foreign policy, including building a wall along the US-Mexico border. He has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin and advocated a closer relationship with Moscow, worrying some in his own party who fear he'll go easy on Putin's provocations.